Ultimate Caramel Popcorn

"I couldn't find a recipe for caramel popcorn that was just right. I've tried a bunch of different recipes, some had good flavor, but not a great color, some had great texture, but not great flavor. I decided to cobble-together the best parts of each recipe. This is the result, my ultimate caramel popcorn, yummy caramel popcorn that has great flavor, good color, and a nice crisp texture. Enjoy!"
photo by jeniwan photo by jeniwan
photo by jeniwan
Ready In:
1hr 20mins
12 cups




  • Set your oven to 200 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside. Also spray a large (very large works best) metal or ceramic mixing bowl with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Pour the popcorn into the mixing bowl you just sprayed, and put it in the oven to warm. Warming the bowl and the popcorn up beforehand helps with getting an even coating with the caramel when stirring it into the popcorn later.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the molasses, corn syrup, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Once the mixture starts bubbling, set a timer and let it cook for 4 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  • Once the 4 minutes is up, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and baking soda. The mixture will foam and lighten up. Stir until blended.
  • Pull the mixing bowl with the popcorn out of the oven. Slowly stir the caramel into the popcorn. I find a rubber spatula works best for this. Carefully keep stirring until the popcorn is evenly coated. Do be careful, the caramel is really hot! At this point, you can stir in any add-ins you might like, sprinkles, nuts, etc.
  • Pour onto the greased cookie sheet and spread out evenly. Bake for 1 hour at 200 degrees, carefully stirring every 15 minutes.
  • Once done, pour back into a large mixing bowl. The caramel popcorn will still be stightly tacky. Stir the caramel corn for about 5 minutes or so while it cools, to break up large clumps.

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